How to Hide Your Facebook Friends List

Selecting Visibility Options for the People on Your Friends List

Some Facebook users don't care if others can see the people on their ​Friends list, but many of the social network's users take Facebook security and privacy seriously. They prefer complete control over the information the site shares. Because of this, Facebook provides simple-to-use directions for hiding your entire ​​Friends list or just part of it.

There's no point in looking in Facebook's Privacy Settings to hide your Friends list—you won't find it there. Instead, the settings are tucked away on the screen that displays all your friends. After you locate it, select one of several options to control which of your friends, if any, can be seen by others on your Facebook page. Limit visibility only to your friends, only to yourself, or to one of many other customized list options Facebook offers. 

Choosing a Friends Privacy Setting on the Facebook Website

  1. At the Facebook website, click your name in the top menu bar or at the top of the side panel to move to your Timeline.

  2. Select the "Friends" tab under your cover photo.

  3. Click the pencil icon in the upper-right corner of the Friends screen.

  4. Select "Edit Privacy" to open a new panel.

  5. In the Friend List section, click the arrow just to the right of "Who can see your friends list?" 

  6. View the settings on the drop-down menu. The options include: Public, Friends, Only Me, Custom and More Options.

  7. Expand "More Options" to see that you can also select from Chat List, Close Friends, Family and any other lists you or Facebook set up.

  8. Make a selection and click "Done" to close the window.

If you prefer, you can get to the screen that shows all your friends from your Home screen rather than your Timeline. Scroll to the Friends heading on the left side of the Home screen. Hover ​over "Friends" and select "More."

What the Settings Mean

If you want to hide all your friends from curious eyes, select "Only Me" in the drop-down menu and be on your way. Then, no one can see any of your friends. If you don't want to be that general, you can choose to display only a subset of your friends and hide the rest. Facebook creates some customized friends lists for you, and you may have created some yourself or have lists from Facebook Pages or Groups. You'll see all the available options, and they'll always include:

  • Public: Everyone, everywhere can see the names and photos of people on your ​Friends list.
  • Only Me: No one but you can see your friends.
  • Friends: Only people who are on your Friends list can see the other individuals on the list.
  • Chat List: This list contains only friends you chat with. If you've turned off chat for some people, they aren't included on the Chat List.
  • Close Friends: If you've added some friends to the Facebook Close Friends list, their names are listed here.
  • Family. If you've identified anyone one as a relative, Facebook automatically adds their names to the Family list.
  • City and state. If you entered a current city and state on your profile, you can choose to display only the friends who listed the same city.

Hiding Friends Lists on Mobile Facebook Apps

Facebook apps for mobile devices work a little differently from the website. Although you can view a screen of your friends, you can't change the privacy setting for the Friends List in the manner given above while in the app. Access the Facebook website on a computer or use a mobile browser to open the Facebook website and make the changes there.

How to Prevent People From Seeing Posts From Your Friends on Your Timeline

Selecting a Friends list privacy option doesn't prevent your friends from posting on your Timeline, and when they do, they may be seen unless you take an additional step to limit the audience in Timeline and Tagging. To do this,

  1. Use the arrow at the top-right corner of any Facebook page and select "Settings." 

  2. Choose "Timeline and Tagging" on the left side of the screen.

  3. Click "Edit" next to "Who can see what others post on your Timeline?"

  4. Select an audience from the drop-down menu. Select "Only Me" if you want to keep the identities of your friends private when they post on your Timeline.